Junia, the Apostle: Part 6
I have read Wallace's article and now I have a series of unanswered questions. Wallace writes,
- 1. First, for the lexical issue. ἐπίσημος can mean “well known, prominent, outstanding, famous, notable, notorious” (BAGD 298 s.v. ἐπίσημος LSJ 655-56; LN 28.31).
- 2. The lexical domain can roughly be broken down into two streams: ἐπίσημος is used either in an implied comparative sense (“prominent, outstanding [among]”) or in an elative sense (“famous, well known [to]”).
- having a mark on it, marked, stamped, coined, marked
- in a good sense of note, illustrious
- in a bad sense notorious, infamous
- serving to distinguish
- having a mark, inscription or device on it, esp. of money, stamped, coined
- notable, remarkable
- conspicuous, notorious
- splendid, prominent, outstanding, notorious
28.31 Know (28) Well Known, Clearly Shown, Revealed (28.28-28.56) pertaining to being well known or outstanding, either because of positive or negative characteristics - outstanding, famous, notorious, infamous. εἰσιν ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις they are outstanding among the apostles ROM.16:7
I am even more at a loss to understand how Wallace has broken the lexical domain down into two streams, that of 'implied comparative' and 'elative'. Elative, simply put, implies 'very'. Why is 'outstanding' an implied comparative and 'well-known' elative. Obviously, the L-N intended 'well-known' to be within the same lexical stream as 'outstanding', hence "pertaining to being well known or outstanding." But Wallace contrasts these two.
There is absolutely no evidence to posit two streams of meaning and suggest an implied comparative, on the one hand, and an elative, on the other. However, Wallace's entire argument rests on this.
Here is a definition of elative.
- elative - a word or expression added to a proposition or grammatical unit to emphasize or indicate a greater degree of something. Example: This worker helped people more abundantly than the others did.
A literal translation of ἐπίσημος must reflect the sense of 'marked' or 'noted' rather than 'known'. My initial foray into Wallace's article has been disillusioning. The KJV phrase 'of note' is as literal as one can get. The ESV is not, so far, an improvement. It is not transparent to the Greek.